Tag Archive: current-events


By ARYEH SPERO

Who would have expected that in a Republican primary campaign the single biggest complaint among candidates would be that the front-runner has taken capitalism too far? As if his success and achievement were evidence of something unethical and immoral? President Obama and other redistributionists must be rejoicing that their assumptions about rugged capitalism and the 1% have been given such legitimacy.

More than any other nation, the United States was founded on broad themes of morality rooted in a specific religious perspective. We call this the Judeo-Christian ethos, and within it resides a ringing endorsement of capitalism as a moral endeavor.

Regarding mankind, no theme is more salient in the Bible than the morality of personal responsibility, for it is through this that man cultivates the inner development leading to his own growth, good citizenship and happiness. The entitlement/welfare state is a paradigm that undermines that noble goal.

The Bible’s proclamation that “Six days shall ye work” is its recognition that on a day-to-day basis work is the engine that brings about man’s inner state of personal responsibility. Work develops the qualities of accountability and urgency, including the need for comity with others as a means for the accomplishment of tasks. With work, he becomes imbued with the knowledge that he is to be productive and that his well-being is not an entitlement. And work keeps him away from the idleness that Proverbs warns leads inevitably to actions and attitudes injurious to himself and those around him.

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Yet capitalism is not content with people only being laborers and holders of jobs, indistinguishable members of the masses punching in and out of mammoth factories or functioning as service employees in government agencies. Nor is the Bible. Unlike socialism, mired as it is in the static reproduction of things already invented, capitalism is dynamic and energetic. It cheerfully fosters and encourages creativity, unspoken possibilities, and dreams of the individual. Because the Hebrew Bible sees us not simply as “workers” and members of the masses but, rather, as individuals, it heralds that characteristic which endows us with individuality: our creativity.

At the opening bell, Genesis announces: “Man is created in the image of God”—in other words, like Him, with individuality and creative intelligence. Unlike animals, the human being is not only a hunter and gatherer but a creative dreamer with the potential of unlocking all the hidden treasures implanted by God in our universe. The mechanism of capitalism, as manifest through investment and reasoned speculation, helps facilitate our partnership with God by bringing to the surface that which the Almighty embedded in nature for our eventual extraction and activation.

Capitalism makes possible entrepreneurship, which is the realization of an idea birthed in human creativity. Whereas statism demands that citizens think small and bow to a top-down conformity, capitalism, as has been practiced in the U.S., maximizes human potential. It provides a home for aspiration, referred to in the Bible as “the spirit of life.”

The Bible speaks positively of payment and profit: “For why else should a man so labor but to receive reward?” Thus do laborers get paid wages for their hours of work and investors receive profit for their investment and risk.

The Bible is not a business-school manual. While it is comfortable with wealth creation and the need for speculation in economic markets, it has nothing to say about financial instruments and models such as private equity, hedge funds or other forms of monetary capitalization. What it does demand is honesty, fair weights and measures, respect for a borrower’s collateral, timely payments of wages, resisting usury, and empathy for those injured by life’s misfortunes and charity.

It also demands transparency and honesty regarding one’s intentions. The command, “Thou shalt not place a stumbling block in front of the blind man” also means that you should not act deceitfully or obscure the truth from those whose choice depends upon the information you give them. There’s nothing to indicate that Mitt Romney breached this biblical code of ethics, and his wealth and success should not be seen as automatic causes for suspicion.

No country has achieved such broad-based prosperity as has America, or invented as many useful things, or seen as many people achieve personal promise. This is not an accident. It is the direct result of centuries lived by the free-market ethos embodied in the Judeo-Christian outlook.

Furthermore, only a prosperous nation can protect itself from outside threats, for without prosperity the funds to support a robust military are unavailable. Having radically enlarged the welfare state and hoping to further expand it, President Obama is attempting to justify his cuts to our military by asserting that defense needs must give way to domestic programs.

Both history and the Bible show the way that leads. Countries that were once economic powerhouses atrophied and declined, like England after World War II, once they began adopting socialism. Even King Solomon’s thriving kingdom crashed once his son decided to impose onerous taxes.

At the end of Genesis, we hear how after years of famine the people in Egypt gave all their property to the government in return for the promise of food. The architect of this plan was Joseph, son of Jacob, who had risen to become the pharaoh’s top official, thus: “Joseph exchanged all the land of Egypt for pharaoh and the land became pharaoh’s.” The result was that Egyptians became indentured to the ruler and state, and Joseph’s descendants ended up enslaved to the state.

 

Many on the religious left criticize capitalism because all do not end up monetarily equal—or, as Churchill quipped, “all equally miserable.” But the Bible’s prescription of equality means equality under the law, as in Deuteronomy’s saying that “Judges and officers . . . shall judge the people with a just judgment: Do not . . . favor one over the other.” Nowhere does the Bible refer to a utopian equality that is contrary to human nature and has never been achieved.

The motive of capitalism’s detractors is a quest for their own power and an envy of those who have more money. But envy is a cardinal sin and something that ought not to be.

God begins the Ten Commandments with “I am the Lord your God” and concludes with “Thou shalt not envy your neighbor, not for his wife, nor his house, nor for any of his holdings.” Envy is corrosive to the individual and to those societies that embrace it. Nations that throw over capitalism for socialism have made an immoral choice.

Rabbi Spero has led congregations in Ohio and New York and is president of Caucus for America.

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Show a Little Class

As a Christian minister I deal with a diversity of cultures because the grace of God is colorblind; however, there comes those moments when I have to stand up with a sense of pride as I see a fellow African American accomplish something noteworthy. Then there are those moments in which I have to speak out because a fellow African American has done something to feed the negative stereotypes that we find ourselves battling on a daily basis.

On this occasion I find myself doing both. First I would like to congratulate Gabrielle (Gabby) Douglas for an awesome accomplishment in becoming the first African American gymnast to win the Women’s All Around God Medal in the Olympics. I would be proud regardless, as I was when Nastia Liukin, Carley Patterson, and Mary Lou Retton won this illusive title; however, there is a heightened sense of pride understanding the challenges that the lack of popularity for women’s gymnastics in the black community creates. When the personal sacrifices that were made are considered in conjunction with the fact that not many gave her much of a chance, it creates a great appreciation for what she has accomplished.

Second, I have to say that I am totally dumbfounded by the ignorance at which some, mainly African Americans, have found reason to be assaultive toward this young lady. With all of her sacrifices, with the class in which she has embraced success, and most of all, the honor she has given our Lord and Savior without fail, there are those that decided to attack her hair. Are you kidding me? This young lady has represented our country, our race, and our faith, with impeccable integrity and poise and what do those whom she represents do, they find fault in and publicly ridicule her hair. How about having the character to put the pettiness aside and show class and reserve. It would be nice to see everyone become unified in the moment.

Are so many of you so miserable that the only refuge you have is to attack those that have the courage to rise above all that has held you back? Maybe it is the detachment from the reality of there being a world outside of that miserable life you perpetuate daily. Whatever the rationale you are using to rail at a young lady that is setting an example to be admired, I encourage you to consider the way this reflects on yourself and the rest of our race. I am calling you to rise to a higher standard. Follow the example of the very one you are bashing and you will learn a great deal.

Gabby has had to make numerous sacrifices and overcome many obstacles to place herself in the position she is in now. She has not rendered excuses when she has failed, she only pressed harder and intensified her focus. Hearing all that the naysayers had to say and yet she pressed on anyway. Take a page from this book of life as your read it through Gabby. You don’t overcome evil with evil, you overcome evil by doing good.

 

 

 

Dr. Rick Yvette Wallace

FRIENDLY REMINDER!

Get a FREE copy of The Invisible Father: Reversing the Curse of a Fatherless Generation by Bishop Rick Wallace.

(Please read this message in its entirety.)

I am currently working on a project with Dreamstreet Studios to engage the homeless situation in America. During the course of 2012 there will be in excess of 3.5 million individuals that will experience the helpless sting of homelessness. A vast majority of this number represents those that are considered perpetually homeless (without a place of residence for longer than 4-6 weeks).
The truth is that the plight of the homeless moves under the radar of the average American citizen and then there are those that contribute in some way periodically. Dreamstreet Studios, the brainchild of entertainment industry veteran Donn Kizzee along with director and producer Gary Griffin has committed to engaging the issue of homelessness in America head on.

I have been brought in to assist Dreamstreet in this endeavor and I am personally asking you to assist me. I have included a link in this message to a site designed to gain financial support for this monumental endeavor. I am asking that you would help me promote this link by sharing with your Facebook and Twitter friends and fans as well as any other medium you may have at your disposal.

Of Course I am asking that you contribute as well, it will definitely be appreciated.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly 972-365-3416.

Here is the link to promote and support this great endeavor:
http://dreamstreetstudios.chipin.com/the-battle-to-alleviate-homelessness

IMPORTANT NOTICE

I would like to announce that the first 300 people that donate to this cause will receive a copy of The Invisible Father: Reversing the Curse of a Fatherless Generation, an eBook by Bishop Rick Wallace (a $9.99 value on Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com. as well as a number of other distributers).

So come on and grab your copy of The Invisible Father while contributing to an extremely noble cause.

Simply make your donation and then email your proof of transaction directly to Bishop Wallace at rpw@rickwallaceministries.com and you will be forwarded the information necessary to claim your copy of The Invisible Father.

Thanks in advance.

Rick Wallace
http://rickwallaceministries.com/

 

It is extremely important for believers to get involved in this project. Trust me, we are being watched and I have already been told  by a non-believer that all my Christian friends will tell me that they will pray for me and the project, but they won’t give. To top it off they said that non-believers would actively give at a higher rate. The sad part is, in my experience, they are right. Non-believing philanthropists will eventually get wind of it and give. The thing is that the Bible is clear on the matter; the poor are the responsibility of the Church. So, in fact, this is a Kingdom endeavor. LOOK: There are 1272 members in this group alone. If each would give just $10 and share this link with everyone in all of their circles imagine what could happen. Even those that are financially strapped could make it their business to share this others. We are talking about engaging homelessness head on (mental illness, addiction, employment, socioeconomic alienation, and more). I ask you and everyone in this group and all other groups to become a part of this movement. I have donated my book: The Invisible Father to be given to the first 300 donors (regardless to the amount donated).

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